Hello + welcome to this tiny space on the internet! I created this blog (+ changed the name twice since) 14 years ago as a creative outlet from my career in the emergency room as a PA. After spending the past 7 (or so) years on social media outlets, I have decided to delete all of the ones associated with this blog and get back to the heart of blogging.
Months of research and a million questions to many of you on my Instagram stories and I finally feel prepared enough to write about choosing a swingset that YOU will love! We’ve been waiting three years now to level out our lawn so that we could put a play set here in our yard! Our swing set sits where the woods used to be and I love how big and open it all is now. This was a huge investment for us but to me, it’s worth it’s weight in gold. Our good friends have a pool and we are ALWAYS over there, I wanted to have a place where all the kids would want to come and hang too! I just know that we will be out here every single day and it will be awesome to be sitting out on the patio with a cup of coffee watching them all play for years to come. There were MANY factors that went into our decision to get this swing set over the many others out there so let’s get started!
We had it narrowed down to FOUR different brands, thanks to all of you providing your input! These were the top four brands that were suggested to us when we started our search.
Rainbow // Swing Kingdom // Cedar Works // Creative Play Things
So it began. My long days of research into all four of these companies to see what they offer, what would last us the longest and what would be the best quality/have the best warranty. Two of these swing sets are made of cedar, 1 with southern yellow pine and the last with vinyl. You’ll want to make sure you do a lot of reason when it comes to what your swing set is made of since it will determine it’s length of life in your yard and the amount of maintenance you will need to keep up with to keep it in it’s best condition.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the yellow pine option in the Creative Play Things play sets, but they DO come with a lifetime WOOD warranty which is very comforting so I am sure they last a very long time. Personally though, we decided against that company and moved onto the other three. The next company I researched was swing kingdom. Swing Kingdom makes a very high quality vinyl play set. My initial thought regarding vinyl was that it would get hotter in the sun when compared with a cedar wood but I entertained the idea anyways. I called around to see if I would be able to look at some and while they are customizable, they took a VERY long time to make and we really wanted the ability to add-on to our play set as the kids get older to add things like monkey bars that they will love once they are older. These weren’t as flexible when it came to adding on.
I was VERY close to ordering our swing set from Rainbow but last minute went the other direction. These play sets are made of redwood lumber & cedar depending on which one you order. They have an awesome lifetime warranty and came VERY highly recommended. Many mentioned having to power wash and re stain each year which is kind of a pain but if it lasts, then it’s worth it. I had envisioned in my mind having two slides, one on each side for the kids to race down. I spoke with a local rep and she was extremely helpful in helping me customize a play set that I knew my kids would love!
Ultimately, I was so drawn to the Northern White Cedar Wood from Cedar Works and I was able to design my own play set right online, which was so fun! What I really love is the ability to add on as the kids grow older. I didn’t want to have monkey bars or other things that the kids may harm themselves on when they are too young to use them. I wanted the ability to make our play set perfect for the ages that my kids are now but big enough for it to grow with them for many years to come and this was the best option. We do not need to re stain on a yearly basis, a simple power wash will do! If anything on the play set goes wrong within the first two years, they will replace it at no charge. This includes everything, not just wood. They guarantee any structural components of the set and guarantee those for 10 years.
I love the way this play set was built. From the wood down to the hardware that holds the swings to the top of the play set. It truly is amazing quality and the team that helped us put it together was so friendly and helpful! Overall, I could NOT be happier with the way it all came together and I think we 100% made the right decision.
Now Cedar Works is definitely more of an investment so I also wanted to link a few of the play sets that many of YOU recommended to me that are at a friendlier cost! I have linked them below here:
As for the ground covering, we ended up with premium playground cedar wood chips. Some of you loved them and some hated them but so far, I love those too! Many said that they didn’t like them because your kids couldn’t go barefoot because of splinters and when they did fall, a few kids got a wood chip into their arm. The wood chips we chose do not give kids splinters so I am not worried about that and our kids have run on them barefoot with no issues at all! Our dog has stayed away from them for the most part and when he does try to eat them, we just train him not to.
Why we felt it was important to put ground covering VS. plain grass
There has been a lot of research done on the safety of ground covering underneath both residential and commercial play grounds. You can check out this study here to read more into it and the results that state that grass is not preferred as a safe means of ground coverage. When you think about falling from a play set and landing on a hard ground VS. a significant layer of wood chips, you’ll realize that those wood chips help to cushion that fall significantly. We almost went with grass but when I started to do more research, I decided against it. I also looked into rubber mulch and had NO idea how controversial all of that was until someone from one of the playground brands told me about it. I asked if they could install the play set with rubber mulch and he stated that many brands are doing away with it since it has been linked to cancer. I haven’t been able to find exact studies with this yet since they are currently being done but you can read more about it here & here and even do your own research 🙂
Hey! What is around the mulch? We have a playset that we just got and are using the same wood chips you habe but trying to figure out what tonuse to keep them in. Thanks
This post came Up during my reSearch and COINCIDENTALLY i recently started following you ON Ig 🙂 i am looking at Playsets with northern white cedar and was wondering how your set is aging in terms of color? Im reading it turns a SilverisH-graY? Thank you!!
Not sure why my caps are all messed Up in my comment but im not yelling ????
Hi Julia, i have wondered the samr thing in doing my research. Have you had any responses to your question about the aging of the Northern White Cedar?
Thanks, Marli Murphy
I, too, have the sAme Question as Helen 🙂 wHat border did yall use to case In the mUlch? Your playGround turned out beautiful!!
Are you still happy from your wood chips choice for the playground? How is it holding up? We are doing our backyard renovation, and are looking at options.
WHat kind of edging did you use for the border? It looks so nice!
Hi! Thank you for the playground ReView and info! Wondering where you bought the Liner thats going around the mulch? Love the look of it!
Thanks for writing an instructive article. Things are important in swing set selection.
This was so helpful! I’m wondering now that you’ve had this swing set for a few years if there’s anything that you wish you added to the set? CedarWorks has so many options, which is great! I just want to make sure that I am picking out something that our kids will play with for years to come.